In 2013, every public opinion survey predicting the outcome of the provincial election in British Columbia saw a victory for the New Democratic Party (NDP). When the results came in, and the BC Liberals again formed the government, the polling industry faced widespread distrust from the media and the general population for the botched call.
While some polling firms decided to abandon political and sociological work, Insights West took this as a challenge to show how proper research, relying on online methodologies, could lead to successful electoral forecasts.
After several successful predictions in British Columbia and Alberta, the 2015 Canadian federal election presented an opportunity to demonstrate the accuracy of public opinion polling to a much wider, and more critical, audience.
It was crucial that we “get it right”. To pinpoint defining factors in the race, our strategy would include tracking changes and movements over time. We began conducting surveys on the election in May with a representative sample of 800+ British Columbians—a significantly larger sample size than what is usually allocated for BC in a Canada-wide poll. We then did follow-ups in August and September, leading up to our final prediction survey in October.
Through a re-engineered polling process, a series of accurate electoral forecasts, and well-planned and executed PR campaigns, we were able to drive significant traffic to our website and receive numerous mentions in the media throughout the duration of the 11-week federal election campaign. In the end, we outperformed all other polling firms in correctly predicting how British Columbians would vote in the 42nd general election.
On October 19, 2016, exactly one year after the victory of the federal Liberal party, Insights West was awarded the marketing excellence award in the category of Public Relations at the Marketer of the Year Gala.